Bihar varsity campus has sand trucks parked, DM says no inconvenience to anyone
The JP University in Bihar’s Chhapra, named after Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan, and its connecting road have turned into a parking lot for sand-laden trucks and tractors.
From Dighwara to Chhapra NH-19, hundreds of trucks and tractors are parked on either side of the road and at times, business is also carried out in the middle of the road, leaving barely enough space for traffic.
Students, university staff and locals say they have complained about it but Saran district administration is yet to take action.
Raja Ram Paswan, a driver from Gorakhpur in UP, claimed that he, along with others, was detained in the university premises for not paying penalty on being caught for overloading. “We are here for the past eight days. We cook under the parked vehicle and sleep right there,” he said.
The police personnel deployed at the university gate said he was positioned there by the order of the district administration. “Overloaded vehicles coming from Dighwara and Doriganj areas of Saran besides Bhojpur district are stopped and made to park in the university campus till they pay the penalty,” one of them said.
Saran district magistrate Dr Nilesh Ramchandra Deore said heavy vehicles were parked on only one stretch from the main gate to the building for want of another alternative but it was not causing inconvenience to anyone. “We are looking for another parking lot even if it requires rent. From May 1 till date, ₹11 crore has been collected through penalty and 90 FIRs have been lodged. The government earns ₹12 crore revenue from sand annually,” he added.
JPU registrar Dr Ravi Prakash Babloo said vice-chancellor Faruque Ali has raised the issue with the police, suggesting that they use the area behind the university building for parking of heavy vehicles.
River activist Jitendra Kumar alleged that sand mafia enjoys the support of politicians and police. “Illegal sand mining takes place in rivers across the state in broad daylight and in full knowledge of authorities,” he said.
Sand mining was banned for three months from July 1 to September 30 last year in the state as per the order of the National Green Tribunal.